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Interview Mon Jul 11 2011

New Name on Chicago's Art Scene

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Anya Ciccone began to pursue serious artistic endeavors only a year and a half ago. Before that she had drawn and taken art classes intermittently, but hadn't devoted herself to the craft since she was a 10th grade art student. Since beginning to draw again, Ciccone has become a somewhat self-supporting artist, relying on her work and two part-time jobs to pay the bills.

"When I finished college I went through a difficult adjustment period, with many of my friends moving away and my having to orient myself to the working world," said Ciccone.

In order to begin to adjust to her new post-school life, Ciccone began drawing and knew immediately what and how she wanted to create in the visual space. Perhaps this is because creativity is in her blood - there are many professional and amateur artists on both sides of her family. Growing up in New York City, Ciccone was regularly exposed to the city's many museums by her father. Fittingly, Ciccone's sister grew up to be a dancer, while visual aesthetics have become Ciccone's primary influence and motivation, despite a literary background at the University of Chicago.

Her influences range from the intriguing physical features of an ex-boyfriend ("CZ" pictured above) to the slightly morbid case of a serial killer who dabbled in predatory and compelling photography ("Exhibit D" pictured below).

Although she is mostly self-taught in execution, and uses her personal experiences as a starting point for the artistic process, Ciccone hasn't ruled out the possibility of future schooling in her craft.

"I am definitely keeping the option of art school open. While there is a kind of personal satisfaction that I have in being self-taught, I do know that with formal training my work would inevitably improve," said Ciccone.

As is normal in the artistic world, Ciccone does not lack for critics or supporters. The people who see and buy her work have offered her feedback that has been overwhelmingly positive, albeit to varying degrees. There are many who have made it clear that her style is "not their thing."

"I can understand this, because I myself am often surprised by the way my artwork comes out. But, even their criticisms are given with a kind of support that I should continue, which is what I plan to do," said Ciccone.

However, there are some people who've embraced her work and have had the chance to buy pieces from her online collection. For Ciccone it's important that her pieces are priced appropriately. It's also hard to assign value to something that one has labored over so intently.

"Pricing is definitely the most difficult part of this process, especially since I often find it impossible to evaluate my own work. Each drawing takes a different amount of time, effort, and resources that are sometimes wildly at odds with the way the piece turns out," said Ciccone.

Her pieces tell a story to most who see them, so naturally, her work is slated for exhibition by the Windie City Shootout, a local film "race" where budding filmmakers have 72 hours to make a 10-minute film. Each of these films will be required to use a piece of art as a backdrop and her artwork will be featured in one of them. The films will be shown on August 27th, and the work will then be displayed in a to-be-announced gallery in Pilsen.

Ciccone's prints are sold at AnCi.imagekind.com. The pricing begins at around $80.00. You can also follow her work at her personal blog kulturkampf.tumblr.com, which includes her thoughts and inspirations, as well as any new drawings that she finishes.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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